August Wilson August 1945-October 2005

August Wilson has died.


These details were lifted from

* Jitney (two-act play), first produced in Pittsburgh, PA, at the Allegheny Repertory Theatre, 1982.
* Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (play; first produced in New Haven, CT, at the Yale Repertory Theatre, 1984; produced on Broadway at the Cort Theatre, October, 1984; also see below), New American Library (New York City), 1985.
* Fences (play; first produced at Yale Repertory Theatre, 1985; produced on Broadway at 46th Street Theatre, March, 1987; also see below), New American Library, 1986.
* Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (play; first produced at Yale Repertory Theatre, 1986; produced on Broadway at Barrymore Theatre, March, 1988; also see below), New American Library, 1988.
* The Piano Lesson (play; first produced in New Haven at the Yale Repertory Theatre, 1987; produced on Broadway at Walter Kerr Theatre, 1990; also see below), New American Library, 1990.
* (And author of preface) August Wilson: Three Plays (contains Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Fences, and Joe Turner’s Come and Gone), afterword by Paul C. Harrison, University of Pittsburgh Press (Pittsburgh), 1991.
* Two Trains Running (first produced at Yale Repertory Theatre, 1990, produced at Walter Kerr Theatre, 1992), New American Library/Dutton, 1993.
* Seven Guitars (first produced in Chicago at Goodman Theatre, 1995),
* The Piano Lesson (teleplay; adapted from his play), “Hallmark Hall of Fame,” CBS-TV, 1995.

Also author of the plays The Homecoming, 1979, The Coldest Day of the Year, 1979, Fullerton Street, 1980, Black Bart and the Sacred Hills, 1981, and The Mill Hand’s Lunch Bucket, 1983. Author of the book for a stage musical about jazz musician Jelly Roll Morton. Work represented in A Game of Passion: The NFL Literary Companion, Turner, 1994, Selected from Contemporary American Plays, 1990, and The Poetry of Black America, Adoff. Contributor to periodicals, including Black Lines and Connection.
Works In Progress:
A screenplay adaptation of Fences.


August Wilson has been hailed since the mid-1980s as an important talent in the American theatre. He spent his childhood in poverty in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he lived with his parents and five siblings. Though he grew up in a poor family, Wilson felt that his parents withheld knowledge of even greater hardships they had endured. “My generation of blacks knew very little about the past of our parents,” he told the New York Times in 1984. “They shielded us from the indignities they suffered.” Wilson’s goal is to illuminate that shadowy past with a series of plays, each set in a different decade, that focus on black issues. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Fences, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, The Piano Lesson, Two Trains Running, and Seven Guitars are part of this ambitious project.

Posted by SPN on 10/03 at 06:31 PM in Celebrity

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